I thought this was a rather charming street, with quaint two-storey shophouses neatly juxtaposed with those three storeys high. Actually the refurbished ones (seem refurbished to me) are still quite quaint, with shrubs if not trees growing from their rooftops.
Of course, no traces today of its heydays when opium dens were rife and Chinese brothels (while the neighbouring streets such as Bugis Street housed the Japanese ones). According to the book, Rickshaw Coolie: A People's History of Singapore, 1880 -1940 by James Francis Warren, richshaw pullers were able to earn a few fast bucks from ferrying prostitutes around in this area, and running errands for them. The prostitutes, bedecked with gold jewelry and beautiful clothes, would take the rickshaw, even if it was from one block to the next.
The street was named after a rich Hokkien businessman (died 1904) who owned land at Club Street and elsewhere, including a part of Bukit Timah where his wife was buried. The mystery of an unknown grave at Bukit Brown behind some private houses along Sian Tuan Ave was unraveled by Asia Paranomal Investigators in 2011 and traced to Mrs Tan Quee Lan.
There was also a Quee Lan Hill where the Chinese Weekly Entertainment Club now sits (picture below).
|The Chinese Weekly Entertainment Club sits on what used to be Quee Lan Hill.|